A steal (in three parts), a splurge and a cheer

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & DesignBy Elle

First, the steal. Part one: I was walking through JC Penney the other day (I had a $10 coupon to use), when I spotted leggings on sale for $18. The ones that really caught my eye featured a cityscape in black, white and grey. I’d been looking for some fun leggings for fall/winter, and they totally fit the bill. And, of course, with my $10 coupon, I paid just under $10 with tax. Sweet!

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Perfect picnic pants

By Elle
Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design

I’ve been waiting all summer to have a picnic just so I could wear these Ralph Lauren cropped gingham pants. I love picnics, and it’s been our family tradition — at least three generation’s worth — to picnic every summer, usually at the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation.

When I was a girl, I loved walking the creek that ran alongside the picnic area. I’d secretly pretend I was an Indian being hunted by the white man (aka my brother and his two annoying friends). In bare feet, I’d jump from rock to rock as quietly as I could. I’d slip behind trees and wait until they passed. If I returned to my tribe (aka family members engrossed in a game of pinochle) without the white man spotting me, the day was a success and I’d celebrate with an extra helping of mom’s most excellent potato salad. Continue reading

Do I Look Like an Elf?

By Elle

As I was skimming the racks at Salvation Army the other day, this belted sleeveless jacket caught my eye, first because of its rich green color, and second because of its woolly texture. Turns out, it’s a wool/cashmere blend, a lovely combo that gives the jacket a soft, cozy feel.

The jacket was made in Canada by one of its leading fashion designers, Joseph Ribkoff, and although it’s a little big on me, I snagged it anyway, thinking I’ll probably wear it over heavier winter clothing. Plus, it was only six bucks.  (I also bought an Anne Klein raincoat with a detachable hood — been on the hunt for a hooded raincoat for a while now — for just 10 bucks, a total steal.)

I intentionally paired my new sleeveless jacket with black boots to enhance the elfin look. I reckon a Santa hat would have driven the look right home, but I’m not one to go overboard.

So, to get back to my original question, do I look like an elf?

Joseph Ribkoff Sport sleeveless jacket

My New Swimsuit is as Old as My Mother

By Abby

Swimsuit season is in full swing, and I thought I’d mention that being comfortable is more important than having the latest swimwear style. All over the TV, internet and magazines are stick models in the tiniest of bikinis or barely-there one-pieces. swim2
Most women do not look like the models pictured here, so we don’t necessarily look good in the same style swimsuits. I have had the same string bikini since high school and it was time for a change. Since I don’t have the same body I did in high school, I shouldn’t be wearing the same swimsuit. I was uncomfortable in it because it didn’t look good on me anymore.

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What to Say When Your Breakfast Matches Your Dress

By Elle

Answer: Well, I don’t have to worry about slopping it all over myself for a change. And, quick, take a photo!

Yeah, so there I was having bfast with my favorite guy and his folks, and I noticed that my oatmeal and fresh fruit concoction if not matched at least complemented my new dress. And because my guy always indulges me, he was happy to snap some photos.

The weather over the holiday weekend was made for a little sundress, and I just happened to have the perfect one. I’d just bought this little number at Ann van h. Boutique earlier in the week and was eager to wear it. (Side note: Ann’s was one of my favorite boutiques in Cleveland. She is closing soon. I don’t have all the details, but hurry on in to get some good deals.)

I dig this dress! I love the bikini design, and the fabric feels delicious. The dress was designed and made by VOLT Design out of Quebec, Canada. Not only is it wearable art, but it’s also reversible. Each side has a different design — that totally removes any angst about getting dressed in the dark, yes? — so you essentially get two dresses in one.

So I didn’t get to wear the dress for long — just long enough to take some photos in the garden. Then it was back to work, weatherproofing and painting the folks’ decks in preparation for Family Reunion 2015. Hope you had a great Fourth, and be sure to leave a comment!

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Totally Tunic

By Elle

My friend and travel buddy Adrienne and I found these amazing tunics in Estonia last year, on our trip to Scandinavia. We love them for two reasons: one, because they were handmade by an industrious Estonian woman; and two, because they are so dang versatile. Oh, and they were fairly inexpensive. About $35 USD a piece, as I recall. Continue reading